When investigating possible crimes, police will often use the power of a search warrant to scour the location defined by the warrant. In a recent case involving a 31-year-old Kalamazoo man, this fact was made clear when police allegedly found drugs hidden in an interesting location.
Police originally eyed the location based on information that meth was being produced and sold at a residence in Cooper Township. The authorities obtained a search warrant and when inside the home, found a can with a secret compartment. Inside the compartment were several grams of meth and prescription drugs. Police also found marijuana and various materials used to package drugs. The man was arrested and taken to the Kalamazoo County Jail. He faces several drug-related charges.
In Michigan, it is against the law to possess methamphetamines. Meth is an illegal drug and those who own it or are accused of selling, delivering or manufacturing meth face serious penalties. Simple possession, especially small amounts of the drug, is typically a minor charge, but if prosecutors can prove that a person intended to sell the drug - by evidence of paraphernalia and materials such as baggies, scales, packing materials or large amounts of cash - then penalties such as fines and jail time can be much harsher. Even those accused of buying ephedrine - a common meth ingredient - can be arrested on meth-related charges.
Methamphetamine production is also a serious crime and can have serious consequences. Still, those under investigation or facing charges may have options. Although police will execute search warrants with an attention to detail, as was apparent in this case, there are limits to the authority granted. Investigators must have "probable cause" for the search; if they do not, it is possible that any evidence gathered during the search could be excluded from trial.
As part of any criminal defense strategy, it will be important to review evidence and police tactics. Although drug charges are taken very seriously by police and prosecutors, defendants still have the right to defend their innocence and reputation in court.
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, "Kalamazoo man arrested, drugs seized from 'secret compartment' after Cooper Township raid," Rosemary Parker, Oct. 10, 2012